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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Bungalow donating 10 percent of ‘Love’ proceeds to nonprofits

(Nov. 12, 2015) Looking for a way to give back to the community that has supported her since she first opened Bungalow Love in 2009, owner Heather Layton recently came up with a new campaign that lets customers pick one of three local nonprofits to benefit from purchases of specially marked items.
Layton said she went back and forth on a number of different ideas over the years, but usually became overwhelmed and “never saw anything to fruition.”
“The exception is for a couple years, on a small scale, I sold recycled cat/dog/chicken feed bags that I cleaned and reconfigured into reusable shopping totes,” she said, adding that a percentage of the profits were donated to the local humane society.
Then, she had a light bulb moment when stickers she sold in the Berlin store, created by a local graphic designer to promote Bungalow Love, unexpectedly became a hit.
“People started asking for hats, tees and hoodies,” she said. “Once they were printed, the ‘Love’ was so prominent in the design, the Love Campaign was born.”
Layton chose three local groups as beneficiaries: Diakonia, the Maryland Coastal Bays Program and the Worcester County Humane Society. Ten percent of the purchase price of each item will go to one of the nonprofits, with the customer getting to pick the recipient.
“The three organizations I choose first are organizations I personally donate to,” Layton said. “The humane society I know is overrun with animals that need homes and I love that they are a no-kill shelter and I pray they always will be.”
She said supporting Coastal Bays, given her surroundings, was something of a no-brainer.
“I love where we live and I feel extremely lucky to have grown up here and now raise my own family on the Eastern Shore,” she said. “The health of the surrounding waterways is extremely important, and I think Coastal Bays does a great job raising awareness of the importance of that.”
Layton said she was drawn to Diakonia, which provides emergency transitional housing, food services and veteran’s programs, after visiting the nonprofit’s website.
“I was blown away by all the services and help that Diakonia offers the community,” she said. “I think sometimes we forget people in our own backyard need help too sometimes. And I love their thrift shop!”
Layton said she could change beneficiary organizations on an annual basis, but hopes to first refine the approach of the program.
“I have a couple other organizations in mind for the next go-round and I have already received a few emails of requests that I consider certain organizations,” she said. “That’s exciting.”
Currently included in the “Love Campaign” line of products, all screen-printed by Barefoot Willy’s Tees in Willards, are men’s short and long sleeve T-shirts, women’s “flowy” tank tops, long sleeve T-shirts, unisex hoodies and trucker hats. Layton said beer coozies and beanies are also on the way.
For Layton, the campaign is just another way to connect Bungalow Love to the community.
“When I order goods, I’m ordering and writing checks to your neighbors, your friends,” she said. “The UPS driver jokes about how little he delivers to the shop, because all the local artisans deliver their goods personally. I carry over 48 local artisans and what is not sourced locally is made in the USA or fair trade.
“I believe in community – my community,” Layton continued. “It’s important. I grew up in Berlin, my grandparents grew up in Berlin and Ocean City. This area is family. If selling a T-shirt can help to raise awareness of … local programs to even one person, then that’s great.”
Bungalow Love is on 9 South Main Street. For more information, call 410-641-2781 or visit BungalowLove.